posted on November 13, 2012 17:46
The day after the election House Republican Leader John Boehner faced a tough question: Would he compromise with Obama or not? It was a Hobson’s Choice. Either way he was walking into a political minefield.
In the end Speaker Boehner threw what looked like a compromise on the table – in effect, saying to Obama, Okay, here it is: We’ll go along with raising revenues (meaning taxes) but you have to go along with tax reform and spending cuts – then the Speaker explained what he had in mind was like the 1986 tax reform compromise between Reagan and Tip O’Neal (that raised taxes).
In a way that did sound like a wind change – as if Boehner was saying to Obama, We Republicans can’t go along with outright repeal of the Bush tax cuts – which is what you want – but if we can dress tax increases up a bit and call it loophole closing then there’s an agreement to be had providing you offer us a big spending cut in return.
Of course, we can’t be sure that’s what Speaker Boehner had in mind at all. After all, this is politics and things are not always what they seem – it could be the cloud floating down Pennsylvania Avenue from the Capital to the White House isn’t a compromise at all – it’s a political two-step, with John Boehner trying to put Obama in a corner so Obama’s the one to say, No deal.